Barnabas delivers “life-saving” aid to 11,600 Zimbabwean Christians

20 June 2024

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More than 11,600 hungry Christians living in drought-wracked Zimbabwe have benefitted from 23.5 tonnes of lentils delivered through Barnabas Aid’s project.

“Your contribution has been nothing short of life saving, providing much-needed nutrition, especially protein, to communities facing a devastating drought,” said our project partners who oversaw the distribution in Matabeleland, Bulawayo and Harare.

A total of 470,000 servings of protein-rich lentils – which were donated by farmers in Australia – were given out with the help of 39 churches and Christian organisations.

A hungry Christian girl tucks into a serving of protein-rich lentils

Believers “were overjoyed to receive this vital source of nutrition”, said our partners. An informal survey carried out by them revealed that 80% of congregants in Matabeleland eat protein only once a week.

Zimbabwe declared a state of disaster on 3 April 2024, warning that more than 2.7 million people are facing hunger following years of prolonged drought.

The problem has been compounded more recently by the El Niño weather phenomenon, which has meant that 80% of the country has experienced below-average rainfall.

This has been devastating in a country where 70% of the population are subsistence farmers.

“In our decades of experience working with rural communities during droughts (1987, 1992, 2016), we have never witnessed such widespread crop failure,” wrote our partners.

A Zimbabwean Christian praises the Lord for providing for her family through

The erratic rainfall has triggered armyworm infestations, further damaging maize, millet and sorghum crops, and livestock are dying because of lack of water.

Cholera outbreaks are rising because people are being forced to drink unsafe water, and families are having to consume seeds put aside for next season’s planting to stave off immediate hunger.

The crisis has also caused food prices to skyrocket. “The cost of food increased by 60.3% in January 2024 compared to the same month the previous year,” explained our partners. “Projections indicate that food inflation will balloon to 190% this year.”

Give thanks for the safe arrival and distribution of the 23.5 tonnes of lentils. Pray for an end to the drought and that the needs of our brothers and sisters are met.

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